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Where's The Melody?

Originally featured in the Tucson Jazz Society Newsletter
 
While many of you are experienced jazz listeners, more and more new fans are discovering the joys of jazz for the first time. To the new audience member, watching a jazz show is like watching the inner workings of a beehive. Most jazz performances follow a flow of events that are fairly predictable and can be easily recognized. For our example, let's say there's a typical quartet on the bandstand comprised of the following: sax, piano, bass and drums. The horn player is the default melody player, the rest of the group being referred to as the rhythm section. The rhythm section primarily backs up the horn player, but a
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Real Jazz

Originally featured in the Tucson Jazz Society newsletter
 
“I don’t want to listen to that, play some real jazz.” I think all jazz fans feel that way about the music they prefer. Since the beginning of jazz, musicians and fans alike have stated their preferences by denouncing some other form of the music. Many of the traditional New Orleans players felt that Real Jazz was lost once it went up river to Chicago. When group improvisation gave way to a primary melodic soloist with a backing group, jazz purists cried that “Jazz is Dead.” French critic Hugues Panassie’ wrote in his book Real Jazz , a summation of Lester Young - “His sonority is sma
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Women in Jazz by

Originally featured in the Tucson Jazz Society newsletter
 
This March, the Tucson Jazz Society celebrates it’s annual Primavera - Women in Jazz Festival. Thinking about the state of women in jazz brings a few things to mind. The jazz world has long been accused of being a “boys club”, and to a large degree, those complaints are valid. While there are many notable women jazz artists, for the most part they fall into categories that have traditionally been seen as “acceptable” for women in music - singers, pianists, and flutists. How many women trumpet players can you name? Sax players? Bass players? Drummers? Not many I would guess. That’s the reali
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Yeah, But Does It Swing?

Originally featured in the Tucson Jazz Society newsletter
 
Duke Ellington said “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing”, and ain’t that right? But what exactly is swing? It’s definition is as varied as the word “jazz” itself. "Swing" is a stylistic period in jazz history, the Benny Goodman era, big bands, etc. "Swing" is also used to refer to the rhythmic feel used in “straight ahead” jazz - characterized by a fragmented eighth-note triplet feel where the first two beats of the triplet are tied, and the remaining triplet beat acts as the upbeat - the classic “bang-spang-a-lang-spang-a-lang” groove that
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Tucson Weekly Archives

For a brief period in the late 90's, I was a freelancer for the Tucson Weekly doing entertainment features. Here is a link to their archives.
 
http://www.tucsonweekly.com/gbase/Archives/index?author=oid%3A19441

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Bass Emporium Reviews and Lessons

Here are some gear reviews and bass lessons on the Bass Emporium website. Scroll down the page to find articles going back to 09/07.
 
 
http://www.bassemporium.com/newsletters.php
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Scale Length - How Does It Affect Your Sound?

Scale Length - How Does It Affect Your Sound?
 
Here is an article written for the D'Addario Strings website, an informational piece on how scale length affects bass tone and string choice.
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Bass String Construction

Bass String Construction
 
Here's another article from the D'Addario Strings site, a very informative look at bass string construction.

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Ernie Ball Sterling 5 Review

From the pages of Guitar World magazine, check out my review of the Ernie Ball Sterling 5 bass.
The accompanying video demo can also be found on my Youtube channel.
 
 
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Do The Tighten Up - How To Rehearse Your Band

Originally Published on Fuzz.com 
 

Okay, after months of scouring Craigslist, music store bulletin boards, and the musician’s classified section in the local weekly alternative rag, you’ve finally assembled the personnel for your band. The pieces are in place; all that’s left is to start rehearsing so you can forge a concept into actual music. It’s an exciting place to be—filled with great expectations, the electric rush of sensing you’re on the verge of making a dream come to life, and the promise of sold out shows, adoring fans, and a whole messa dollahs. Now, if your band can only survive the rehearsal process…
 
It’s
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Do The Tighten Up - Rehearsal Etiquette

Originally Published On Fuzz.com
 

Do The Tighten Up – Rehearsal Etiquette
 
Etiquette—for some, the word evokes images of sipping tea, pinky in the air, making polite conversation with a visiting clergyman in the parlor while listening to Mozart; but when you get into rehearsal mode, a little etiquette can make the difference between keeping everything running smoothly, and having to find a new drummer every other week.
Typically, bands spend hours and hours rehearsing, and much of that time is wasted. Not the “hang time”, I’m talking about the accumulated hours spent waiting for the lead singer to show up, listening to the guitar player wank t
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Do The Tighten Up - Communication Breakdown

Originally Published On Fuzz.com
 

Do The Tighten Up – Communication Breakdown

Rehearsals are about learning or writing new tunes, tightening up your existing repertoire, and working out the specifics of how your band plays together. Naturally, this takes time, but you can eliminate many frustrated hours if everyone speaks the same language, or at very least, if one person can interpret for the rest of you. If you’ve ever been a part of, or witnessed a rehearsal of trained professional players, you know how quickly things can happen—an entire show’s worth of material can be perfected in a matter of 3 hours. Yeah, the skill level may be higher than your av
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Do The Tighten Up - Tighten Up Yourself


Originally Published On Fuzz.com
 
Tighten Up Yourself
 
While band rehearsals are typically a collective effort, too often individual members skimp on their personal responsibility to the music. What do you do in between practices to improve your performance? If you think simply being in a band is enough, think again. You need to practice your instrument, improve your skills, and work on the music so you can show up to rehearsal ready to go.
Lots of great musicians are self-taught—maybe you’re one of them—maybe not. But it’s never too late (or too early) to learn something new about your instrument, or music. Case in point: in the early 90s, one of m
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Do The Tighten Up - The Impermanence Of Life


Originally Published On Fuzz.com
 
The Impermanence Of Life
 
It’s possible to become so absorbed by being in a band that it takes over your entire life, both creative and personal. Yeah, you need to focus your energy, to create and hopefully live the dream—but not at the risk of losing what is often an already tenuous grasp on reality. In other words, don’t quit yer day job, at least not yet.
Here’s the thing—bands come and go, sometimes faster than you would like. While you may have put all your sweat and talent into building a rockin’ little combo, many of the situations I’ve discussed in earlier columns set up the self-destruct s
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Stellartone Tonestyler

Originally Published in Jazz Times magazine
 
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Peavey Cirrus 6 String Bass

Originally Published In Jazz Times Magazine
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Phil Jones Bass Buddy

Originally Published In Jazz Times Magazine
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Jonas Hellborg - Taking the Reins

Originally Published In Jazz Times Magazine
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Stu Cook Interview

This is from an old issue of Bass Player. I met Stu online on a bass forum and was amazed to meet one of my early bass heros. 

Stu Cook interview
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Walking Bass Lines

Here is a snip from my book Building Walking Bass Lines that used to be hosted on the fender Player's club website.
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Chris Tarry Interviews Ed Friedland on Active Bass

This is actually quite old as you can tell from the picture. But it's still online, so check it out if you like, Active Bass is a pretty cool site.
 
http://www.activebass.com/i7--Between-The-Lines-With-Ed-Friedland
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